Managing for Quality Service
I am proud to announce that today Innography is launching its Professional Services program. As the new VP of Professional Services at Innography, I hope to provide some clarity around one of my favorite subjects. When asked to write a blog post to accompany the launch, it was difficult to narrow down the focus subject. After all, how could I possibly choose one aspect of something I consider holistically important? Just as in Professional Services though, I knew I had to stay within a specified scope in order to get the most out of my effort. So it is with this theme that I start my first blog topic on what I believe is the heart of Professional Services -- Quality.
It is a continuous challenge for service providers to ensure delivery of the best quality services to customers while staying within the constraints of scope, cost and time. Delivering quality service is about formalized quality management from scoping through to full delivery. The purpose of quality management is to first understand the expectations of the customer in terms of quality, and then put a proactive plan and process in place to meet or exceed those expectations. Should the customer’s expectations change, the process must be revisited in order to gain a new understanding of them. Quality is an ongoing effort and should be reviewed as often as possible. In my experience, it pays to be flexible. And with a diverse clientele, project success depends on the ability to adapt to the changing needs of customers.
Quality is a top priority at Innography and always has been. Our proven Customer Success Consultants were created with, well, customer success in mind. Everything from our data sources to our marketing channels go through numerous quality checks prior to being available to our clients. However, we know that quality is ultimately defined by the user, and our professional services team is committed to working closely with customers to establish the definition of project success and then to work as an extended arm of the customer’s team to ensure the appropriate insights are achieved.
There are basically two forms of quality that should be adopted when successfully delivering professional services:
- Quality Control refers to the activities associated with the creation of project deliverables. It is used to verify that deliverables are of acceptable quality and meet the completeness and correctness criteria established in the quality planning process. Quality control is conducted continually through the project and is the responsibility of the Project Manager and team members. Supporting activities include:
- Identifying project deliverables and milestones
- Define the completeness and correctness criteria for each deliverable
- Conduct reviews (Deliverables, Peer, Technical and Gate)
- Communicate results
- Quality Assurance refers to the process used to create the deliverables such as the SDLC (Standard Development Life Cycle methodology), not to specific deliverables. In general, quality assurance activities focus on the processes being used to manage and deliver the solution. Supporting activities include:
- Pre-project review
- Project management review
- Post-requirements definition review
- Post-testing review
- Project close-out review
At Innography, insights matter, and my goal is to assist our users in achieving the quality insights they’re after in order to better accomplish their business goals.
In my next post I will be discussing the importance of planning and scoping services, along with some tried and true methods for success. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding Innography’s Professional Services, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.